Badpans prevails at Vernon Downs
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The productive pacer Badpans displayed patience and closing ability in capturing Thursday night’s (June 12) main trotting event at Vernon Downs.
With Claude Huckabone, III driving for trainer Dave Spagnola, Badpans tucked in second behind Incredible Anthony early in the $6,300 eighth event and followed the energetic pacesetter through splits of :28.3, 1:00 and 1:30 before shaking loose in the final furlong and nosing out her front-striding rival in 1:58.3.
Michael Rampolla owns Badpans, who has recorded two straight scores and a third-place finish in three Vernon ventures this season. Overall, the 4-year-old mare sports a 6-4-2 on-the-board summary line after 13 current outings, while the $23,000 she’s stashed away this season has lifted her lifetime earnings to more than $43,000. She paid $18.60, $6.80 and $8.70 across the board.
Driver Chuck Connor, Jr. helped trainer Tracy Brainard draw closer to dash-winning leader Lonny Hale with a pair of first-place finishes on Thursday. The two-time track driving champ piloted Brainard’s charges Penny Place (owned by Dominick Rosato) and Hanger Pride N (owned by Brainard) to victories in 1:58 and 1:59.2, respectively, while chalking up his sixth two-win night of the meet.
After 23 programs, Brainard is second only to Hale, 20-19, in training triumphs.
CJ’s Not A Clue, who finished in a dead-heat for win with Incredible Anthony here last Thursday, notched a repeat victory in the $4,200 seventh race after a determined stretch rush that resulted in a gritty 1:59.1 score for trainer-driver Chip Zombick and owners Myron Ekstein, Michael and William Pozefsky.
DOWNS DOINGS—Defending dash-champ Howard Okusko, Jr. leads in two-win outings at the meet with seven. The Downs will present live racing at 6:55 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Vernon’s video gaming facility will feature a “Lucky Friday the 13th” promotion tonight (Friday), while fans arriving early on Saturday can obtain a free Vernon Downs cap, while supplies last. The track’s weeklong afternoon and evening simulcasts begin daily at 11 a. m., while its video gaming facility operates from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. More information can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com. (Vernon Downs)